Today is apparently known as backward day. A day when we are suggested to shake up the day-to-day humdrum by perhaps walking backwards, talking backwards, and doing everything the wrong way around. I guess that would certainly shake up your day but how wise is it really to think and look backwards?
The famous story in the bible about looking backwards is of course of Lot. He, his wife and his daughters were removed forcefully from Sodom and Gomorrah. They did not realise the impending doom, and although the angel had instructed them to hurry and not look back, Lot’s wife could not resist looking back at the city that had been her home. As a result, she was turned to salt!
Some of us are like Lot’s wife. We are past-oriented, focusing on the things that have happened previously and living the present in the light of our past. It is good to see what God has done, and where we have come from, but we are not to get stuck there. God has a hope and a future for us, and we need to be looking at where he wants to take us.
But also we can look back in a way where we consider all the things that have happened in our past and thinking that they need to be fixed before we can live in the future. This is a dangerous cycle to get into because it is hard to get out of it. Jesus has healed our past; He did a complete work on the cross. We just need to believe His Word and let go of those things that used to hold us back so that we can move into the future. Until we do that, we will be afraid of what lies ahead and will keep putting off what God has for us.
However, God knows we are not literally capable of "forgetting" significant choices or things that have happened to us. That would mean denying parts of who we are. I don't think God wants us to do that. He doesn't want us to act as though important or painful circumstances never happened. Our past shapes who we are in the present - and helps us understand ourselves, our lives and the world in general. Experience is how we gain wisdom and learn valuable lessons. It may have to do with our own choices, and may also have to do with the choices other people made that have impacted our lives. The point is how God brought us through those things, how He has healed and changed us. When the emphasis is where it should be, understanding our past helps us give glory to God in the present.
There’s an old chorus that says, "When I remember what He’s done for me, I’ll never go back anymore."
Today on Backwards Day yes remember and enjoy all that God has done for you in the past but press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us all heavenwards in Christ Jesus.